A needs analysis would need to be performed to assist in the instructional design process for the pediatric clerkship at State Medical University. A comparison analysis would be performed between this program and other successful pediatric programs around the country. Also looked at would be the follow-up surveys from recent graduates of State Medical University to see what holes they felt there were in the pediatric clerkship. From this analysis, several main issues will be explored.
The program as it currently stands is not conducive to a measurable learning system. Pediatric clerks are going to separate offices to perform procedures and learn “in the field.” The problem here is that there is no way to control what they will see in a given clerkship. They may not be prepared for a real-world scenario. Problem-based learning is the solution. This could be done online using videos of cases and having online discussions. For the critical cases computer–assisted learning in pediatrics could be initiated. This Internet-based learning would provide students with cases to review. Each case would come with additional information from an expert and provide information beyond the scope of the curriculum. This type of problem-based learning would also provide college students with peer review learning.
Computer assisted learning would also help reduce the feeling of isolation for students at offsite locations. Students, faculty and subject matter experts (SME’S) would participate. This format would better prepare the students to achieve the goals; to be able to identify whether the condition is urgent or not.
The development of this online component would enable set standards to be implemented and students would feel that standards are consistent. The online courses would meet the objectives set for the course. In the beginning, expertise would need to be sought in setting up the online part of the course. There is already an instructional designer in-house with experience of initiating problem-based learning solutions. Her role would be to introduce others to this field, especially for those who see the technology side an issue. Workshops could be delivered to help those become familiar with the online component of the course.
The current program has many good aspects to it. The analysis found that the current program should stay as it is, and the new online course component simply be added as a bonus to the existing program. The primary teaching strategy for the current clerkship clinical experience has been as an apprenticeship in a hospital setting. Students get lectures on Wednesdays and then go to the clinics for the remainder of the time. This is a traditional form of education and is not meeting the needs of the students. Students get good experience but don’t see critical cases. The experience will stay the same, but the exposure to critical cases will increase with the new modality of online learning.
Change is frightening in any organization. In the case of State Medical University, their pediatric clerkship program has been very effective and has made the program very successful. It is sometimes hard to convince those who have been around for a while that changes may be needed. A good way to encourage change, and to make those opposed to it feel comfortable is to utilize their talents in the new changes. For example, McConnell enjoys teaching all the medical students but gets upset when they are not interested in pediatrics. To make him feel happier it might be possible for those specializing in pediatrics to have additional modules designed for that specialty or courses tailored for pediatric trainees particularly in diagnostic techniques. He might be tasked to develop the content for these modules.